For Sale By Owner; Top 5 reasons They Fail

For Sale By Owner

Congratulations! You’re having a baby! You landed that dream job! You are ready to retire and party it up in Boca! Whatever the reason, it is time to sell! You’ve done the math, you’ve run the numbers and you don’t want to pay some realtor a commission just to stick a sign in the yard! So, you decide “it can’t be that hard,” I will just sell if myself. You run to Wal-mart and hand write a generic For Sale by Owner sign. You list it on Zillow, and look at the zestimate…. That can’t be right can it?! (No, it’s not.) You ask your neighbors what they think the homes in the area are going for. Then you wait for that perfect cash offer buyer, that will instantly fall in love with your gem of a home.

And wait… and wait…. Investors call and offer you pennies on the dollar…. Realtors call and want to list your home. A few looky loos walk through and tell you they “love it!” and will “get back to you about making an offer.” Time is ticking by, you are paying all these extra mortgage payments when you thought for sure your home would be sold by now.

For sale by owners only make up 8% of all home sales. And 98% of sellers who attempt a for sale by owner eventually hire a realtor. So why in the world is it so hard to accomplish?!

  1. Marketing

    Zillow is great for the modern day house hunter, but the buyers will almost always send what they find to a realtor to show them the home. Realtors don’t like working with For Sale by Owners since the realtor will end up doing 98% of the work, so your home moves to the bottom of the show list. Realtors invest a lot of money into marketing your home taking on all the risk if your home doesn’t sell. They spend hours of their lives creating and perfecting the perfect marketing plan to ensure any homes they list sell swiftly. Meanwhile your sign and free online ad only reach minimal portion of the buyers a GOOD realtor that networks well can reach.

  2. Representation

    You don’t have someone looking out for your best interests. Someone who will tell you the truth even when it hurts. No one wants a home with floral wall paper and tile counter tops, but your friends and family are not going to tell you that. You don’t have a professional that eats, sleeps, and breaths the real estate market on your side, advising and negotiating to get you the best price. Instead you are offering to pay for a buyer to have that professional representation and negotiate you down.

  3. Money

    A buyer sees a For Sale by Owner sign the same way you see a SALE sign at the mall. You aren’t paying commission so why shouldn’t they get a discount too? You don’t know what your home is worth. You just don’t. You can hire an appraiser to tell you and that may help. Your home is not worth what you bought it for and it is not worth how much work you put into it. It is only worth what a buyer is willing to pay for it, and unless you work with buyers on a regular basis you won’t know what that is. No matter what Redfin says.

  4. Paperwork

    What paperwork do you need? Did you know that there is state specific paperwork, and all the paperwork that a realtor will give you changes yearly to try and protect you even further from lawsuits. Yes, you can find generic paperwork through a google search, but again you are not protected, there are many many loop holes and not every buyer is a nice person who will not take advantage of you.

  5. Time

    A good full time realtor works very long hours. However, you already have a full time job, or kids (which is more than a full time job) and now you are adding the tasks of keeping the house showable at all times (What if just the right person driving by see your sign?!) Meeting people you haven’t vetted to show then your home. Spending any free time you have searching for all the right paperwork you need to use… what is a seller’s disclosure anyway?! Good, approved buyers are in a hurry, they know what they want and they want it now, if you can only show on the weekends because you work, and their realtor is showing them numerous other homes during the week, they will fall in love with another home and place an offer right then and there.In the end selling a home is hard work, there is a very good reason that most real estate agents don’t last very long in this profession. Think about it everyone knows someone that used to be an agent. And they even have the support and resources of many other agents! Meanwhile you have to do it all yourself in addition to all your other responsibilities, it can be a daunting, and is definitely no easy task.

Have you attempted a For Sale by Owner? Am I right? How did it go for you?

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